MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. Despite the increased popularity of biking across America, bicyclists are still sometimes seen as risk-takers. Critics of city bicycling often claim that bicyclists endanger themselves because they often break the law. But, is this true, or a myth?
One writer for Outside Magazine openly admitted to breaking traffic laws. Bikes who ride on public roads are required to abide by the same laws that apply to cars. Why, then, would a biker intentionally choose to break the law? According to the cyclist writing for Outside, in some cases, abiding by the law could put a biker in greater danger. How? In some areas, it is illegal for bikers to ride on the sidewalk. Yet, in high-traffic zones with no bike lanes, many bikers opt to ride on the sidewalk simply because it is safer.
In many areas, poor street design forces bikers to make concessions when it comes to following the law. Bikers have noted that it is often easier for them to follow the letter of the law when cities design roads for both bikes and cars—meaning that streets need to be better equipped with bike lanes. Unfortunately, many roads are simply not designed with bikes and pedestrians in mind. To make matters worse, police and insurance companies may assume that the biker is to blame in an accident—even though the biker is the more vulnerable road user. At the end of the day, many bikers argue that roads are designed for cars, not bikes, creating a dangerous situation in many cities for bike riders. At the end of the day, cyclists are far more at risk of being injured on the road than drivers or their passengers.
Yet, it is also important to consider that bikers may be singled out when it comes to the issue of breaking the law. According to Wired, only 36% of bikers admitted to stopping for red lights. These statistics sound terrible, but two-thirds of drivers also admitted to breaking the law, from time to time. Bikers may simply be more visible because they are conspicuous road users, but they may not be the outlaws some claim that they are. In fact, in New York City alone, drivers run red lights as many as 1.23 million times per day—and this is in a city where pedestrians outnumber the cars.
So, what is the takeaway? If you have been in a car accident or have been injured as a biker, it is important to protect your rights. Determining fault after an accident can be highly complex. If you’ve been in a crash, consider reaching out to the Minneapolis, Minnesota personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino. Our firm can review the circumstances of your case and help you understand your rights. You may even be entitled to seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320